Buying a Home Based on Curbside Appeal
We’ve written already on the dangers of purchasing a home based on how it looks. In our last piece, we focused on the possible pitfalls of deciding a home isn’t “worth it” due to external factors…factors which may be masking a true gem underneath an off-putting exterior. Today, we are going to swing to the opposite pole and look at the dangers of being swayed by a home simply because of how bright and clean it is.
Yes, it is true that a well-staged home is a thing of beauty. And it is also true that a home that appears well-maintained from the inside very frequently is just that. However, one should also keep in mind that when individuals are attempting to sell a home they are doing so often by hiding some of a property’s less desirable features. It is possible that some of these features being hidden are actually quite major issues, which means that if you just leap before you look, you might find yourself living in a very attractive money pit.
The process of staging, as you very well may already know, is a means to bring attention to all of a home’s positive attributes – things like natural light or large floor plans. When in a well-staged home, admire that which you are meant to admire, but also be sure to look beyond the exterior. Go into the basement and really examine the joists and the walls for cracks. Look on the condition report for any issues with rodent infestations, roof maintenance, plumbing issues, and other such topics. Just because a home looks beautiful doesn’t mean that it doesn’t carry with it a fair amount of problems.
A great way to get an unbiased glimpse into the reality behind the facade is by having a private inspection of the home. This is something that you can have written into your offer, meaning that the offer is contingent on the results of the inspection. That way, you can still place an offer on the charming bungalow or ranch that you’ve been dreaming about without potentially being trapped into buying something that needs and extra $100k of work post-sale.
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